The landscapes of my mind…
Above is one of my favorite photos from this year. It was taken a couple of days ago on a morning in which I almost drove home without touching my camera.
It seems that the best photos for me anyway are the ones that can’t be planned for or anticipated. The last time I drove down this prairie road was two or three years ago. That tree in the lower left frame is what I remember from a few years ago. It’s not often that I see trees standing by themselves where I live. Where I live the parkland forests have been cleared to make room for cereal crops. Farmers don’t want to be driving tractors or seeding around single trees because they’re pretty to look at and I can’t blame them.
The trees that I like are usually in pastures. They get chewed on, rubbed up against and just generally pruned. That tree in the picture is sitting in amongst a bunch of cow poo. Not a pretty picture. I know because after I snapped this I walked in there for a close look and put my camera bag down on some. Ooops!
Now I have the location of this tree indelibly marked in my memory. It’s only a few minutes farther than I usually drive and I have a great reason to go here now.
The landscapes of my mind. I call them that because when I see them they don’t usually last for more than a few moments.
One of the wonderful and at the same time aggravating things about shooting under the conditions that I do is that things are constantly changing. When I drove away from this spot the fog had completely moved across the road into the next field. The sun was a little higher and things looked well, boring.
I got another email this week asking where I took a certain picture. I could easily give exact coordinates down to the range and township road but I don’t. What would be the point? Drive to that spot on any day of the year and it wouldn’t look the same. Even if you were to be standing next to me with your camera shooting the same thing that I do we would still end up with very different images.
It’s not just the place and time but also the visualization and the processing. The photo below was processed slightly different. It’s warmer and some direct sunlight in the foreground crossing the road. Two different shots but obviously taken on the same morning. Enlarged they have a different feel one from the other.
The fun of shooting landscapes is creating something with what I saw. If it were only a matter of faithfully recording the scene I’d probably be fishing instead of taking pictures.
Have fun with your imagination. As adults we too often forget how to use them. Kids get it. Why can’t we?